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Topic: Potential Fraud
Message: Posted by: John Long (Jul 19, 2019 08:38PM)
After years of using PayPal to pay for items from fellow magicians, recently a MC "member" has stopped responding to me, without sending the requested/paid for items. Any suggestions?

I'm looking into how PayPay may be able to help, but haven't found out how to report the behavior.
I will also check with the credit card that was used in the transaction (not PayPal's).

Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 19, 2019 09:58PM)
Did you send it as friends and family? If so then that little fraud on your part may make it tough.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 20, 2019 07:10AM)
Scroll down to "contact us" on the initial Paypal page after you log in. Then click on "disputes and limitations."

Enter a case ASAP. There's a time limit on these things.
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Jul 20, 2019 11:09AM)
You can also speak to a PayPal rep on the phone. They've been very helpful to me whenever I've needed help or advice.
Message: Posted by: John Long (Jul 20, 2019 12:03PM)
Thanks for the thoughts.

Although the person seems to no longer be on the Café, I was able to make contact through their email that was given for the PayPal payment.
Delivery is (re)promised. "Stay Tuned" as Pete B likes to say.

Danny: What is the consequence of sending via "friends and family"? and how can I tell how I sent it?

Message: Posted by: landmark (Jul 20, 2019 12:11PM)
No, John, DO NOT wait to file a claim! File a claim immediately or your right to a refund will run out. If by some miracle the item shows up, no harm done, you can retract the claim. But promising delivery is a known way to delay the filing of a dispute until it is too late.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 20, 2019 02:05PM)
I agree with landmark, File a claim NOW. Paypal will get your money back. If you did send as friends and family, and paypal asks, tell them you were told by the seller to do that and you didn’t understand and didn’t think anything by it. They will understand. Sellers do that to avoid paying a paypal fee and that right there tells you to beware. If they are willing to cheat paypal they will cheat you.

I have sold thousands of items online using paypal. They hate dishonest buyers/sellers and will work with you to get your product or get you a refund. They guarantee a refund on something like this. File a claim now.

If for some reason you can't do it online call the paypal customer service.

Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Jul 20, 2019 04:14PM)
Landmark and Tom are correct. Contact PayPal and file a cliam NOW.
Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Jul 23, 2019 02:16AM)
I did not want to post here - but I must, as you are being told a one-sided story that is grossly inaccurate.

Here's what actually happened.

Less than two weeks ago, I discovered that one of my published works had been stolen by another and was being marketed. This led to a heated public exchange here on the Café. In an effort to combat this and undermine the thief, I offered to sell my original work for a third of the price that it was originally sold for - a measly ten dollars. I'll say that again: TEN DOLLARS. Not only was I losing money, but my work was being outright stolen. A good number of folks from the Café contacted me through the email I gave, which is strictly for use when speaking with others in the magic community. A flood of emails came in asking for the work in support of the situation and because of the reduced price. At NO TIME, did I EVER ask anyone to pay using "friends and family" to paypal as the payment method while this was going on. I replied to everyone who requested where to send payment to and sent out copies to those who sent payment. If you'd like, I can have countless respected members come here and verify this - if necessary. They all received it.

Eventually, all posts pertaining to this theft were deleted from the thread which was then locked by mods - effectively allowing the thief to get away with it and not allowing any public record of this dispute. I was so angry by this course of action that I decided to leave the Café; a decision that I still stand by. I am only posting now to put a stopper into this nonsense. I simultaneously refused to open any further emails from anyone in the magic community until I felt that I had cooled down enough to resume doing so. There weren't any copies needing to sent out at that time, however, there were emails from people asking where to send payment to. I was simply so disgusted that I didn't want to speak with anyone and didn't reply whatsoever to these remaining requests.

When I was feeling a little better a few days later, I decided to open a facebook account to remain in contact with friends and supporters in the magic community. I also decided to check my emails once again. Among the many varied different emails - most with words of support and encouragement, was one from John - the OP. He was incensed by the fact that I had not replied to him - yet stated that he was a fan and wanted to know where to send a payment to in order acquire this work. Apparently, I'm under some sort of obligation to answer [i]personal[/i] emails based upon others expectations.

Despite his attitude and tone, I replied anyway. Here is my exact response to his email. I've only omitted my paypal address since it doesn't need to be made public. But the rest is direct cut and paste. Keep in mind that I responded to him on the 16th - just 7 days ago and he posted here about "potential fraud" on the 19th, just three days later.

[i]Hi John.

Don't be disappointed; I had to take a few days off to get my head clear and cool down after that situation - I wasn't answering ANY emails. I thought it better not to respond to emails while I wasn't in a good frame of mind. That's all.

But I'm back on track and moving on now. If you'd still like a copy, you can paypal $10 USD to: my paypal address.com

Thank-you for the kind words and your support.


Note that no sale had yet been made and that I never requested payment to be made as "gift" or "friends and family". He also knew about the situation that had transpired here at the Café which is why he was asking for the work in the first place. Neither was I [i]trying[/i] to push a sale. In fact, my response very clearly indicates that I was still fed-up with things at the time as it wasn't very obliging and no apology for not replying to him sooner was made.

The next day, it was brought to my attention that yet ANOTHER person has stolen a piece of my work and was marketing it!! That was the final straw. I immediately started blocking and deleting all people from my FB whom I felt could not be trusted. Then I decided to just shut down FB permanently and never speak with anyone in the magic community again. A number of luminaries in our art (including one Café staff member) had been speaking with me prior to this, and when they saw what was now happening, they immediately began messaging me and trying to calm me down. And of course, exactly like before, I withdrew and wouldn't answer emails or return messages.

Eventually I cooled down a little, and returned to my email and communicating again. Upon opening my email on the account I use to speak with others in the community - on the 21st, I found five emails from John.

I will cut and paste all five of them for you here now - without any editing, and with typos intact:

#1. July 16th (later that same evening when I first responded to him) at 8:37 PM:

[i]Money sent via paypal. THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!![/i]

#2. The next day on the 17th at 8:48 PM:


#3. July 19, 1:28 AM

[i]Please sen pendultimate, why the delay?[/i]

#4. Later that same day - 8:54 AM.


#5. July 21, 6:40 PM

[i]You are disgraceful. Now time for social media...magic Café, penguin facebook.[/i]

Except for the fact that he'd already came here on the 19th just three days in - screaming "fraud!" Three days. And $10 dollars.

I see these emails and remember that I'd given him my paypal addy. I didn't think much of it at the time, because I'm not running a business selling my work anymore and I get inquiries like this frequently. And very often, I give them the info and they don't follow through. As he was the ONLY person I'd given it to after I'd already initially dealt with everyone else, I simply forgot to check in the midst of all that had been going on to see if he'd followed through or not.

So, I go to paypal to confirm if he'd actually made payment. He had..but now there is a dispute open. So I email him his ebook and tell him that he is no longer privy to my work in my future. After all, I am a performer and creative - not a businessman, and money is not my motivating factor in life. With "fans" like this, who need enemies? He responds - after receiving the book - to never email him again. But here's where it gets rich: he still tells paypal that he never received it! So they immediately refund him.

Now, earlier he implies on this thread that he made contact through my paypal business email instead and that he was promised delivery. Pure and absolute B.S. Show us, John! Post a screen shot of that email. You can't - because it never happened! The only thing that has ever happened was that I replied to you on the 16th and gave you my paypal info in response to your inquiry about how to purchase this from me. That's it. Prove me wrong and show us a screenshot of that email where I supposedly held you off by promising to send it with my business email. Do it. You're an out and out liar. If you're not - then prove me wrong by posting up this non-existent message where I promised you that. Show us.

The truth here, is that you asked me to sell you something. I gave you my info. You sent payment. And because I didn't catch it right away (because it wasn't a typical business transaction), you are screaming "fraud" and making a stink (while lying) here on the Café - just three days later. I caught it on the 5th day and sent it to you - and yet you still told paypal you didn't receive it. You even told paypal that I was a crook! I can post the actual screenshots from paypal where you say that if you want to try and lie about that, too. So you've name-called, jumped the gun, and then called me a crook and all within a three-day period, and then, finally ripped me off and damaged my business standings with paypal. And all over 10 dollars and three days. You're a real piece of work. Since I first started doing business, I've had literally tens of thousands of orders come to me - through paypal, and not ONCE, ever had a problem or nobody receive what they ordered or had a dispute. Until now. Are you going to do the right thing and pay me what you owe me now? Well, are you?

And the rest of you; just look at all the nonsense and over-reacting going on in this thread. Jumping to conclusions without even knowing the facts. You guys are always the victims aren't you? Us 'creatives' are the bad guys, right? I've spent literally hundreds of hours writing up manuscripts and gifting people freely here at the Café over the last few years and trying to be a positive force in the best way I know how. All it has done is bring me grief and get my work stolen. And now this.

Good job.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 23, 2019 07:50AM)
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:

And the rest of you; just look at all the nonsense and over-reacting going on in this thread. Jumping to conclusions without even knowing the facts. You guys are always the victims aren't you? Us 'creatives' are the bad guys, right? I've spent literally hundreds of hours writing up manuscripts and gifting people freely here at the Café over the last few years and trying to be a positive force in the best way I know how. All it has done is bring me grief and get my work stolen. And now this.

Good job. [/quote]

I don’t think it is over reacting to tell someone to file a claim with paypal when they didn’t receive the product that they paid for. The ONLY FACT that matters is he did not receive the product on time that he ordered OR a reason why it wasn't being shipped.

You being a great magician, or one of the ‘creative’s’ as you call it doesn’t give you a right to be different from any other business person. And yes you are a business person when you offer a product for sale. The same rules apply, when someone buys your product you ship it OR you let them know why it’s not being shipped. You don’t wait and make excuses why it’s ok for you to do business different from anyone else.

With that said, I do feel bad about you being ripped off by other sellers. I know it hurts.

Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Jul 23, 2019 09:49AM)
The fact is he lied on this forum by implying that he had been in touch with me AFTER he made his purchase - which never happened. It's important to note that no agreement as to when it was supposed to be sent was made either. I didn't even know if he was going to follow through or not after he inquired. No excuses were made. I simply informed you as to why I missed his payment. So yes, I'm guilty of not checking my email for a few days. It didn't matter anyways because he was already on here crying fraud on the third day. Believe me, if I was actually a fraudster that I'd certainly not be trying to take the guy for a mere 10 dollars - it would be a heck of a lot more. I can think of numerous others in this business who have certainly taken a heck of a lot longer to deliver things too.

If you think THREE days and a measly 10 dollars is a good time frame and reasonable enough to start dragging someone's name through the mud, name-calling, and leveling accusations of being a crook and committing fraud while damaging their business reputation when they've had nothing but a good track record with literally scores of people from here and for several years... well, then I don't even know how to respond to that.

Let's not forget that he also told paypal he'd not received it after I sent it to him. The simple fact, is that he jumped the gun and completely over-reacted and lied about the facts in the process.

As it stands right now, he's the crook. He's gotten my work and not paid a cent for it.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 23, 2019 10:14AM)
Sudo Nimh,

I don’t know you or John, but he asked if anyone here had any suggestions on how to handle a papal problem. And no I don’t think name-calling or bad mouthing a seller or buyer is a good idea, that it why we suggested handling it trough paypal by filing a claim. No need to drag us into the fight for only trying to help. We would make the same suggestion to you.

Yes I personal think three days is too long to reply to an oder, that’s just me oh. Maybe you need an automatic response set up.

Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Jul 23, 2019 10:38AM)
Normally if I have anything I want to make available for sale to folks nowadays, I let Penguin take care of everything for me because I'm an artist type by nature and not a businessman. This manuscript was only offered after the theft of my work was under discussion and several Café members inquired if they could obtain the original from me rather than support the rip-off. It wasn't my intention in the first place to try and sell it.

But you're right Tom, I probably should have an automatic response set-up in my email. However, I probably would have turned it off anyways even if I'd had it because I was so furious with the other situation at the time and this communication between he and I was going through my [i]personal[/i] email - not my business one.

Best of the day to you Tom.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jul 23, 2019 10:51AM)
Thanks for explaining it.

Wishing you the best,

Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 23, 2019 11:36AM)
I'm happy to hear the other side.

Here is my problem. Your attitude towards US. All I did was ask a simple question. All others did was tell him to open a dispute. You get angry with us in response.

And ten dollars means different things to different people. Painting it as a measly 10 dollars doesn't help you look good at all.
Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Jul 23, 2019 08:17PM)
Fair points Danny.

I'm not actually angry with those who responded to him. The point I was trying to make was simply that there is always two sides to a story. I often see a good deal of negativity cast towards creators on the Café. Granted, some of that is often well-justified. I can't speak for others, but I know that I rarely charge for my work and have spent an enormous amount of time and energy freely giving works that I could have easily charged good money for. Combined with the recent thefts of my work, it all felt like an additional slap in the face and I took the comments here a tad personally. If I didn't actually care, I wouldn't be posting here.

So yes, perhaps I was a little emotional when I wrote what I did. I just wish that folks wouldn't immediately jump to the conclusion that all creators are out to rip people off - especially when I have demonstrated time and time again on these forums that I am not motivated by money.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 23, 2019 08:23PM)
Writing with emotion does not help. Hard not to be though I understand.
Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Jul 23, 2019 08:34PM)

I'm an emotional person by nature whether I want to be or not as I struggle with type 1 Bipolar Disorder - among other things. This is the reason why I refuse to speak with others when I'm not well. Historically speaking, it has not gone well for me when I do.

But anyways...

I'm still waiting to see if the OP has any honour - and especially after he called ME a crook. My bet, is that he doesn't. I don't care about the money; it's now all about the principle.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Jul 23, 2019 08:58PM)
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:
. . . he called ME a crook.[/quote]
With all due respect – and I mean that sincerely – he didn't ever call you a crook.

Furthermore, it didn't come across to me as if he felt that you are a crook. The feeling that I got was one of frustration: he wasn't sure what was going on, nor how to handle it.

I hope that you can find a way to stop the thieves, and I hope that you and John can come to a resolution satisfactory for both of you, with no hard feelings.

And I hope that you can manage your bipolar disorder. Having a fair amount of mental illness in our immediate family, I know how much harder it makes . . . well . . . everything.
Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Jul 25, 2019 07:10PM)
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, S2000magician wrote:
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:
. . . he called ME a crook.[/quote]
With all due respect – and I mean that sincerely – he didn't ever call you a crook.[/quote]

With all due respect - he DID. I wrote about where he said it earlier in the thread; you might have missed it. This is the exact term he used with paypal. He literally told them I was a crook. I have the paypal dispute where he says it in his complaint to them. And..he still reported it as "didn't receive" AFTER I'd already emailed it to him.

As for my illness, in the words of Jimi Hendrix [i]"...manic depresssion's a frustrating mess"[/i]. I only wish bipolar disorder was the only mental health issue I struggle with. On the other hand, I feel that I wouldn't be anywhere near as bright or creative without it. It has it's pro's and con's - like most things.

As for resolution, it'll never happen. He clearly has no integrity.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Jul 26, 2019 12:51AM)
[quote]On Jul 25, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, S2000magician wrote:
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:
. . . he called ME a crook.[/quote]
With all due respect – and I mean that sincerely – he didn't ever call you a crook.[/quote]
With all due respect - he DID.[/quote]
Sorry for being unclear. I meant that he didn't do so [i]here[/i].

I have no idea what he did somewhere else. And, as you point out, we've heard only one side of that story: yours.

As I say, I hope that you two can work it out to your mutual satisfaction. It sounds like a huge misunderstanding to me, with frustration to boot.
Message: Posted by: DelMagic (Aug 3, 2019 08:11PM)
PayPal allows 180-days from the time of payment to open a dispute. Even just thinking about it after 3-days is nonsensical.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Aug 4, 2019 11:54AM)
When I buy items on the Café I always use the “purchase” option on PayPal opposes to the send money to friends. But I do add in a buck or two to make up for the cut PayPal takes from the seller when I do that
Message: Posted by: John Long (Aug 6, 2019 08:54PM)
I'm beginning to wonder who the OP for this thread is :)

but I will post an update (not sure its needed).

1)As best as I can tell, I did not use the "Family and Friends" method to send money

2) I did file a claim about a week ago (thanks for all the emphatic encouragements to do so)

3)Today, Pay Pal "upgraded" my claim in some way, saying it has been "escalated" (whatever that means), and they are requesting more info from the person that I was trying to buy things from.

4)Although my potential loss is inconsequential, like others have expressed, it does anger me a bit, and I don't like the idea someone doing this with impunity (especially since the person was in the process of "selling" many items on the Café at the time I contacted him/her.)

5) I found Pay Pay to be rather obtuse (e.g.; they said my claim will ~expire after 17 days, but that I should wait 17 days before I try to escalate things. (Tell me that again?)

I would enjoy thoughts on how to protect oneself against such people. I've thought of starting a thread of names of such people.. but I can understand why the management of the Café doesn't want this.

Message: Posted by: John Long (Aug 16, 2019 08:08PM)
Today PayPal told me that the other party did not respond to their request for more information, and they will refund me the money.

Strange system; seems like PP isn't even going to try to prosecute the other party.